Terry talks 2008 – now complete!

Whew… finished.

And for those of you who were there today, leave a comment below. Better yet, join the facebook group which we’ll use to collect folks interested in staying with the “IF” wish loop.

Overall, I think the conference went pretty well. The speakers certainly delivered and hopefully everyone enjoyed themselves and got something out of it. Not totally sure, but from where I was standing, there seemed to be good buzz in the room generally. We’ve got a whole bunch of feedback forms, but from a quick cursory glance, it looked like something to definitely keep in the Terry list of “to do’s”

If I had to think of a single link for each of our speakers (so that folks can maybe follow up and explore more), it would go a little like this.

Allen (link to Daniel Pink book he referred to)

Idette (link to Studio 801)

Doris (link to her book on Abraham Lincoln)

Duncan (link to UBC EWB)

Tiffany (link to the Save the UBC Farm petition)

Mike (link to the UBC chapter of Universities Allied for Essential Medicines)

John (link to Planetwalk, a non-profit he founded)

Andre (link to the wiki project on Latin American literature).

Fatou (link to a ubyssey article on Africa Awareness week) – would love to get a copy of one of her poems though.

John (link to a great piece of his at McSweeney’s)

Elysa (link to UBC’s Model UN)

Geoff (link to the IF wish Facebook group)

I guess attendance could have been better (it’s never cool when that much food is wasted), but I guess we’ll know for next time that even with a reminder, a surprisingly high number of people will register but not come – the kicker is that we had such a big wait list which is a shame because they missed out.

Oh yeah, pictures will eventually make their way here. Not entirely sure when our YouTube experiment will be ready, but I must admit it looks like it’s going to be pretty hilarious!

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David (@ng_dave) is Faculty at the Michael Smith Labs. His writing has appeared in places such as McSweeney's, The Walrus, and boingboing.net. He plans on using Terry as another place to highlight the mostly science-y links he appreciates. In fact, if you liked this one, you might also like his main site generally - this can be found at popperfont.net.

20 Responses to “Terry talks 2008 – now complete!”

  1. Ryan Wilson

    I thought the Terry talks were a truly inspiring demonstration of the intellectual capital of our students. As a recent graduate of the Sauder School of Business I feel privileged to be associated with such an amazing group of motivated and impassioned individuals.


  2. AT

    You’re right, it is never cool for so much food to be wasted.

    One way that Terry talks can take leadership on the issue of food, which has recently become more political than ever, is to make the ethical and sustainable choice of catering a vegetarian or vegan lunch. Leadership, ethics, and sustainability — pillars not unrelated to the aims of Terry talks I daresay! What a positive way that would be to take something so routine as lunch and make it a talking point of the conference, an opportunity to challenge our thinking.

  3. Kelly Lin

    As a first year student in UBC I was completely blown away by the conference, not only just by the overall organization but the level of communication that was present. I love the diversity of interest in each speaker and the ability to pinpoint some of the improvements people of today can do that is not impossible to accomplish.

  4. Nicholas FitzGerald

    Agreed, todays conference was very inspirational. A huge congratulations to all the speakers who had the courage and the vision to break new ground with this venture. The attendance seemed to me to be quite remarkable considering this was the first year of the talks, and I’m sure it will only continue to improve as the word spreads as to what it is all about.

    If nothing else, I believe we have set a new gold-standard in silly dancing.

    Thank you to all the organizers and participants!

  5. C.c

    Loved everything about this terry talks- it was fun, humorous, inspirational, educational… (list goes on..)
    All the speakers were truly TRULY amazing, and inspiring.
    I loved how they presented their project, their idea, and their passion.
    Thanks to everyone who made this terry talk possible !!!

  6. Annabel

    Thanks to Terry & team and UBC for this amazing event. I was only able to catch a part of the talks, owing to the paper that I had to write, which was due yesterday (literally), but I was impressed and incredibly proud – of the speakers and of my university for putting this on.

    A resounding, “Well Done!!”

  7. Tysune


    Great presentation today guys 😀 It was really inspiring. I can’t wait for IF and next year 😀

    Just wondering, is the video of the actual conference going to be posted?

    Let me know please.
    Thanks a ton,

  8. Jesslly

    I believe today’s conference was a great way of bring students with different ideas to inspire each other. It makes me feel like there are so many more interesting people on UBC. It would be a waste if these people do not have a mean to inspire or even just tell their ideas to other UBC students.

    I believe through discussion with peers, ideas can be developed into something great.

    Overall, I thought the conference went exceptionally well. It would be nice if there were more varieties of topic because when more ideas are thrown at students, the students can be inspired in many different way.

    One thing for the food. It was disappointing to not see a decompose garbage can around for the paper cups, plates, and napkins. It is such a wonderful things UBC offer and Terry Talk did not make a good use of it.

  9. Tiffany

    My friend and I (we’re both vegetarians) were very surprised at how few vegetarian sandwiches there were compared to the sandwiches with meat….as vegetarians, we can’t eat anything with meat. But meat eaters can certainly eat everything vegetarian. Please be more considerate of the vegetarians next time 🙂

    All in all, I really loved the Terry talks this year! Yes, attendance dropped throughout the day, which is really disrespectful to the speakers later on. But a big thank you for those of you who stayed the whole day! As one of the speakers, I was really, really excited when people came up to me and said they were interested in what I was talking about!

    Thank you for giving me the chance to share what I think is really important!

  10. M

    As UBC staff, I was at Tt to listen to what featured student speakers had to say. I found each of their voices to be lucid, passionate and hopeful. I imagine that caring to make a difference in the world in one’s own way is not unusual among students, but having forums to express, and to share and to inspire such feelings at UBC may be exceptional. I hope to hear & learn more from each of the speakers, from other like-minded students, and from Terry* in the future. Well-done everyone, keep up the great work!

  11. Tess

    Just to echo M, everwhere I look on campus I find students bursting with ideas. Often they don’t even realize it themselves. Forums like Terry* seem to be few and far between, yet they’re essential to the dissemination and realization of these ideas. There’s also the added benefit of forcing each of the speakers (although it’s by choice) to refine and explain their ideas, which is always a good thing.

    Thanks to everyone involved, I had a wonderful and exhausting day.

  12. jenny

    Terry talks was awesome! It was so great to see students get up and speak so passionately about things that they have done, things they are doing and things they hope to do. We really need more events like this, because it provides a much needed context for what our time at UBC can be all about. This is sooo definitely going to be an annual pilgrimage for me (this, BTW, was a sentiment shared by almost everyone around me).

    As a side note, what is up with people registering for events like these, and then not showing up (throughout the day, Terry talks was only about 1/2 to 2/3 full). I see this a lot at other (free) events, but it totally sucks! I heard Terry talks had a huge waitlist, and even had to shut this list down as early as Thursday for fear of going way over (a reminder to cancel if one was not attending was even sent which presumably was factored in). People who wanted to come but couldn’t totally missed out, which is a real shame especially since the conference was so good. Plus, the no shows presumably led to a waste of money spent (like on the food) – which is just irresponsible if you ask me.

    Fittingly, at the start of the day, the MC briefly spoke about “courtesy” for things like cell phones, not leaving half way through a talk, trying your best to stay the day.

    I couldn’t help thinking – where was the courtesy when people signed up?

    Sorry, venting I guess…

  13. tom

    Excellent conference! When do you think the videos will come out. Some of them I’d really want to pass around.

  14. Camille

    So much do you think UBC would have to pay Allen Manser to revamp all class slide shows? Because I think that would be a good thing.

  15. Farah

    There is not much left to say that has not been said already…so I’ll just repeat and embellish to reiterate the point! The Terry talks were good. Outstandingly good. Why? The quality of the speakers firstly, secondly the background of said excellent speakers. Not only the content of their talks but also the fact that our fellow ‘UBC-ers’ regardless of faculty or educational level, could and did come up with such impressive projects and executed very high level presentations with such finesse makes for any peer to gain a bit of pride, self-confidence and that valuable sense of, ‘Yes, we can!’. Well done Terry and I hope you keep up and improve the standards so confidently set.
    I also agree that if the catering and other non-talk arrangements had mirrored the content of the day, it would have really made the impact Terry aims to, ina much deeper way. HOpt to see this happen next time!

  16. Sonja

    It was amazing. I won’t reiterate what’s already been said, but I would like to ask– will the talks be posted anywhere online??

  17. Chad Hyson

    As one of the organizers it is great to hear such positive feedback on the event as well as things that we can do to improve it in the future. In terms of lunch, we will do a better job next time, I am a vegetarian myself and was really surprised at how few options there were particularly since I got to lunch late, my only option was cookies and juice. When we got the food quote from AMS Catering it said that vegetarian and vegan options would be included, AMS Catering is very good about providing veg options so I think there must have been some type of mix-up in communications, next year we’ll make sure to the address the issue.

    Compost bins are a great suggestion, we totally overlooked this so we’ll make sure to order a few from waste management next year.

    The talks will be posted on the Terry Website, will likely take some time to get them ready so check back often.

    Thank you again for being part of the first Terry Talks we hope that you’ll spread the word so that we can get more people joining the conversation.

  18. Gabrielle Hodgson

    I loved it! Extremely well-spoken presenters, a beautiful venue. Definitely something I will advertise to other students! But I have to ask…where did UBC get the funding for this project? Who were the sponsors?

  19. Blake Frederick

    Thanks to Terry and organizers for putting on what I’m sure will become an annual event.

    Gabrielle – Terry receives its funding from the Teaching and Learning Enhancement Fund. This fund, which is made up of 3.5% of student tuition fees, is designed to allow groups to run innovative projects that will further student engagement in teaching and learning. There may have been funding for this conference in addition to TLEF, but I’m unsure.



  20. Alia Dharssi

    Terry Talks was fabulous! The speakers all had very impressive ideas and it was inspiring to hear them….on the downside, I was looking for compost been too! So I’m glad that will be addressed next year.

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